A fearless and unforgettable novel from one of the great writers of the twentieth century
Everything Flows is Vasily Grossman’s final testament, written after the Soviet authorities suppressed his epic Life and Fate.
Ivan Grigoryevich has been in the Gulag for thirty years. Released after Stalin’s death, he finds that the years of terror have imposed a collective moral slavery. He must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world. But in a novel that seeks to take in the whole tragedy of Soviet history, Ivan’s story is only one among many – Grossman had too much to say, and too short a time to live, to concern himself with conventional novel-writing.
Thus we also hear about Ivan’s cousin, Nikolay, a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career, and Pinegin, the informer who had Ivan sent to the camps. Then comes a series of informers, each making excuses for their inexcusable deeds – inexcusable and yet, they plead, in Stalinist Russia understandable, almost unavoidable. And at the core of the book, we find the story of Anna Sergeyevna, Ivan’s lover, who tells of her involvement as an activist in the Terror famine of 1932–3, which led to the deaths of three to five million Ukrainian peasants.
Everything Flows is an unbearably lucid novel about human suffering from one of the giants of twentieth-century literature.
“As eloquent a memorial to the anonymous little man in the Stalinist state as Dr Zhivago is to the artistic spirit in post-Czarist Russia and The First Circle to the scientific intelligentsia”
New York Times
“'Vasily Grossman is the Tolstoy of the USSR'”
“Possibly the greatest chronicler of the second world war”
“Only Dante, in his account of Ugolino and his sons starving to death in a locked tower, has written of death from hunger with equal power”
Robert Chandler, London Review of Books
“Supplies a wealth of information about the social context and Soviet terminology”
Christopher Taylor, Guardian
“Beautiful and philosophical narrative of lives and lamentation... a thoughtful polemic”
“This is a genuinely visionary work of art, and a worthy sequel to Grossman's magnum opus Life and Fate”
Chandrahas Choudury, Daily Telegraph
“This is a story that needs to be heard”
Simon Humphreys, Mail on Sunday
“This tremendous book has the power to make you weep at man's inhumanity to man and, at the same time, rejoice that freedom does not die. Thanks to Robert Chandler and his co-translators, Elizabeth Chandler and Anna Aslanyan, the Russian voice positively sings.”
Lucy Popescu, Independent
“A powerful work...It shows us the perplexity of an old man coming home after 30 years in a gulag to find society much changed and is the work of a true visionary.”
Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up